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Retrocommissioning (Rcx) Mechanical Systems On A University Campus: Student Capstone Experience

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Technical Issues in Architectural Engineering II

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

11.1092.1 - 11.1092.15



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Paper Authors

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Margaret Bailey Rochester Institute of Technology

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Erin George Rochester Institute of Technology

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Retrocommissioning (RCX) Mechanical Systems on a University Campus: Student Capstone Experience

Abstract Senior engineering students at Rochester Institute of Technology are required to complete a 22- week culminating project prior to graduating. This multidisciplinary project assembles teams of students in various engineering majors to work together on an engineering design project sponsored by industry or an academic client. There are a wide range of projects available to students, and all stages of the projects are completed from introductory information given by the sponsor, development of possible design concepts, selection of final concept, analysis and completion of final prototype. In the following paper, the capstone design project process is presented from a student perspective, including a breakdown of the twelve-step process used by the design groups, a course assessment from the student team, as well as details of a specific project as it pertains to the various phases of design. The project involves the development of a retrocommissioning (RCX) test plan for evaluating an existing air handling unit (AHU) on a college campus, in order to reduce energy consumption, improve occupant comfort, and prolong equipment operation. The test plan is implemented and test results are analyzed as part of the student’s capstone design experience. In addition, a first and second law thermodynamic analysis is conducted. Based on the team findings, a comprehensive RCX test plan is developed for use on air handling units throughout campus and recommendations are made for retrofit design solutions to improve system performance.

Key Words Retrocommissioning, Air Handling Unit (AHU), Energy, Exergy, Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC), Student Capstone Design

Introduction The multidisciplinary design project brings a group of senior engineering students together for a 22-week project to enhance the principles learned in coursework and expose students to working in multidisciplinary groups in a final culminating project before graduation.

A twelve facet design process is followed for the project. The twelve step process developed in includes the following facet1: 1. Needs Assessment 2. Concept Development 3. Feasibility Assessment 4. Tradeoff Assessment 5. Engineering Analysis 6. Preliminary Design Synthesis 7. Engineering Models 8. Detailed Design DFx 9. Production Planning 10. Pilot Production

Bailey, M., & George, E. (2006, June), Retrocommissioning (Rcx) Mechanical Systems On A University Campus: Student Capstone Experience Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--576

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